21st Century Public Spaces

Monday, May 8, 2017 | 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

The impacts of climate change have been evident in different cities and ecosystems all over the world during the last decades. In the case of urban settlements, many cities are under specific and sometimes uncertain impacts of climate change, making their populations vulnerable to human and economic losses. At the same time, the rapid growth of urban population without planning, demanding more infrastructure, services, and built environment puts a lot of pressure on the ecosystem, contributes to the causes of climate change, and exposes people to risks and losses.

To avoid ecological impacts and economical and social losses it is important to include strategies for the mitigation and adaptation to climate change in the development of plans of our cities to make them more resilient. However, challenges such as financial priorities, political issues, uncertainties about the risks, or personal interests could make the adaptation investment a difficult task. According to Cities and Climate Change, although urban infrastructure is a priority, a lot of cities are struggling to meet the basic needs and the growing demands of their populations, leaving limited resources to allocate to Climate Change Adaptation. Adaptation measures usually require big investments of time and resources, and need to be anticipated in order to be effective, requiring investments today that will deliver benefits in the future, based only on actual projections or uncertain predictions, running the risk of investing limited resources in an unnecessary infrastructure or creating a false sense of safety on the population if the projections are exceeded. 

As part of the search for strategies to make cities more resilient, policymakers, developers, and planners have put their effort in the development of new policies for city growth, land uses, transportation, energy production and efficiency, water consumption, etc. A part of the effort has been focused on the design of urban public spaces with multiple functions: social, economic, health, energy production, adaptation, etc. showing the huge potential that these spaces have to help our cities mitigate some causes and adapt to the consequences of climate change while saving time and money.

That is why I would like to focused this poster in the study of the potential that the planning and design of public spaces today have to link urban development, adaptation, and resilience and how to maximize this potential to provide innovative and comprehensive solutions to the new challenges our cities are confronting in terms of growth, health, economics, environment, and resilience.



Dulce Naime , Washington , DC (see bio)